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Silverlight Load Testing: Challenges of Load Testing Silverlight Applications

Silverlight Application Testing

One frequently overlooked part of the development process for Silverlight applications is performance testing. Most developers understand that testing is important, however it is not as exciting as designing the application or launching it. In addition, testing can be hard.

Load testing, which simulates the stresses that an application will be under when it is being accessed by many people simultaneously, brings with it many challenges. For some people, these challenges are so difficult that they forgo load testing altogether. This is a mistake, because a poor performing application – especially one as multimedia rich as Silverlight applications are – is a real problem.

A little bit of load testing can avoid putting you in a situation where your users are unable to experience your Silverlight application because it is slow when many people are using it at once. Below are three of the biggest challenges faced by Silverlight developers when load testing their applications. At the end, you will learn how to overcome these testing challenges.

If you understand the challenges and know how to overcome them, then your load testing experience will be good.

Challenge 1: The Complexity of Silverlight Applications

Silverlight applications are great because they work on a multitude of devices and platforms. They also contain multimedia elements, animations and graphics which gives the user a rich experience. Many load testers, however, are unable to deal with the complexity of Silverlight applications. If you have one Silverlight application which runs on a Citrix server and another which is based off the cloud, many load testers require you to purchase separate licensing fees and install different programs.

Selecting a load tester which is protocol independent allows you to overcome this challenge.

Challenge 2: Keeping Costs Under Control

Load testing in particular has a reputation for being expensive. The reason is that most load testers bring with them a multitude of hidden costs and fees that are not apparent when you first buy them. The cost of the load tester, consulting fees to deal with their complexity, licensing fees to test on different protocols, and labor costs to set them up really add up.

Selecting a load tester which is protocol independent and easy-to-use will minimize the cost of load testing.

Challenge 3: Getting Good Data

Load tests are useless unless you get good data. Ideally, you want data which shows you when your application performed poorly in the face of stress. The more specific this data, the better you will be able to identify where the bottlenecks are. This will allow you to make adjustments to the application and the platform it is being hosted on.

For the best data, you want to select a load tester which tests from the end users point of view and gives you easy to interpret data.

How to Overcome These Challenges

As you can see, the load tester which you select determines whether or not your load testing efforts are torpedoed by these challenges. AppLoader is a great load tester for Silverlight applications because it addresses each of these challenges.

AppLoader is protocol independent. It is easy to use, tests from the end users point of view and executes load tests quickly and efficiently. The data that you get from AppLoader's load tests are presented to you in easy to understand charts and graphs. It is a perfect solution for organizations of all types developing Silverlight applications.

With AppLoader, load testing Silverlight applications is suddenly not so challenging. It presents you with the simplest way to develop confidence in your application's ability to give your users the experience that you want them to have.

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